A turtle nesting site has been found at Ramla l-Ħamra in Gozo, making it the first recorded nest this season. Officers from the Environment and Resources Authority confirmed the turtle tracks, which were discovered early this morning by NTM Rescue Team, indicating that a turtle may have nested in the area.

ERA personnel together with Nature Trust Malta (NTM-FEE) confirmed that a turtle had laid its eggs. ERA will continue supporting NTM and the relevant stakeholders in order to ensure the protection of the nest. An Emergency Conservation Order will be issued.

The general public is encouraged to act responsibly. Excessive noise, trampling and light close to the nesting area may pose a threat to turtle eggs and any hatchlings.

ERA would like to thank the public for support and co-operation. Any observations of turtle activity or environmental illegality should be immediately reported to ERA on 22923500 or [email protected] or to NTM. NTM are sponsored by ERA to conduct animal rescues and rehabilitation around the Maltese islands.

Note on the species:

The loggerhead turtle (Maltese: il-fekruna l-komuni), scientifically known as Caretta caretta is a long-living, slowly maturing marine species that inhabits tropical to warm temperate areas. This species is classified as globally endangered by the World Conservation Area (IUCN) and is also protected by various national and international legislation. Capturing, killing, taking, and trading these turtles, as well as the deliberate disturbance of these species, particularly during the period of breeding, rearing and migration, is prohibited and subject to legal action. Even the destruction of eggs or taking of eggs from the wild is strictly prohibited and constitutes a criminal offence. In fact, the national ‘Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations’ impose a minimum fine of nearly €500 and going up to nearly €2400 for each egg that may be destroyed or taken from the wild. The area where the loggerhead turtles has laid its eggs is also a protected area under the Environment Protection Act (Cap. 549) and a Natura 2000 site through the EU Habitats Directive.

19 July 2022

Ramla nesting2_Photo Credit NTM_Wildlife Rescue Team